Could you build a career in mobile apps?

These days, practically everyone has a smartphone, and on that smartphone are tens or even hundreds of apps.

More are being released every day, while existing ones are constantly being updated and revised. The world of mobile app development is big business, and what’s more, it is growing.

If you think this could be a perfect career direction to take, read on for some tips on what is involved.

A huge market

Two thirds of the world’s population owns a mobile device – that’s five billion people or thereabouts. Of these, around three quarters are smartphone owners, each of whom uses dozens of apps. The sheer number of apps being developed and the amount of mobile app testing that goes on every day is almost beyond imagination. What other industry on the planet has that kind of customer base and global reach? Mobile app revenue is expected to rise exponentially over the next two years, to around $188 billion in 2020.

There is also something of a skills shortage, as the educational sector has been slow to react and develop relevant and cutting edge training programmes. If you have a flair for software development and testing, you should be seeing dollar signs before your eyes by now.

What skills do you need?

Obviously, you’ll need some programming experience, for example in Objective-C, C# or Java for Android. Some experience in coding using mobile frameworks such as XCode or Windows Phone App Studio would also be a bonus. However, it is not just about the technical skills – even if they are lacking, they can be learned, and what is important is that you have that thirst for knowledge and self-improvement.

Much harder to learn are the soft skills that you need to be successful in app development. The world of the software developer used to be seen as a lonely one – possibly, that was never really the case, but it is certainly not true today. Interpersonal and communication skills are a must – you will be working in collaboration with other team members all the time. Experience in, or a propensity for, project management will also stand you in good stead.

Specialist qualifications

We mentioned that there has been something of a dearth of appropriate academic courses to meet modern mobile app development needs. However, there are some short courses, run over a matter of days, that can be taken online and will provide you with some useful tips, as well as looking good on your CV.

Show me the money

So the question on everyone’s lips is this: How much can an app developer earn? You can probably already guess that the answer is going to be a resounding “it depends,” but broadly speaking, app development can be a very lucrative career. This salary checker cites the average salary at over £50,000 – but the really interesting thing to note is that this figure rose by more than 11 percent since last year.

If you have a talent for programming and the determination to succeed, mobile app development is definitely a career worth exploring.